This is the second of a three-part series about Christmas gifts for outdoor-minded people.
Gifts abound for outdoor-minded people. Higher priced items, such as firearms, scopes and compound bows, were discussed last week. Today we will cover some medium-priced items.
Readers of this column know I’m a Buck Knife person. My collection numbers are, well, must be a couple hundred. These are nothing of extreme value, just pocket and hunting knives. A Buck Knife was attached to my side during my year as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam.
My family was informed years ago of my desire to receive a Buck Knife at any gift-giving event, such as Christmas and birthdays. This has worked well, but family members rebel from time to time.
“What if you already have the knife I get you,” my sister might say.
“It doesn’t matter, the knife will be treasured,” is my reply.
My challenge, my goal, is to carry every knife at least once. This might be a pocket knife carried for a day or a hunting knife carried for the season. A Buck pocket knife is carried in my left-front pocket, except when traveling on a commercial airline.
The Buck Knife Factory is located in Post Falls, ID and they offer tours. It would be practical to organize a family outing to Post Falls for a visit to the factory next spring or summer. This is a very educational trip.
The tours are offered free of charge, Monday through Thursday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Reservations are required, so call ahead to reserve your spot at 800-326-2825 x172.
The tour will last around 45 minutes. Fully closed shoes, both closed toe and heel is required, it is a knife factory, ya know. Children seven-years-old and up are welcome.
The street address is 660 S. Lochsa St. in Post Falls, Idaho. Take I-90 to Exit 2, Pleasant View Road, go south to Lochsa, turn right and follow Lochsa to the Buck Knives plant and the visitor parking area.
Buck Knives can be purchased at your favorite sporting goods store or on line from the factory. The knives can either be engraved or etched at the factory. Local jewelry stores can do the same.
At one time a Remington Bullet Knife collection was started, with the posters included. There are several other knife brands at my house, also, such as Ka-Bar, Gerber, Kershaw, Victorinox, Wenger, Leatherman and others.
Outdoor Edge SwingBlade
A hunting buddy gave me an Outdoor Edge SwingBlade knife during this year’s hunting season. This knife has a traditional drop-point blade to help gut and skin the big game animal. A push of a button allows this blade to swing into the handle for storage and a gutting blade takes the place of the drop-point blade.
The traditional gut hook is used on the outside of the skin, where the hair is located. The problem with this gut hook is it cuts the hair, allowing more hair to be deposited on the meat. It is difficult to remove hair on a deer or elk carcass.
The Outdoor Edge gutting blade is unique. It cuts underneath the skin and never touches hair. A blunt tip prevents the blade from piercing internal organs.
An engraved or etched knife has the potential to become a hunting tool to be handed down from generation to generation.
Excalibur Meat Tenderizer and Jerky Slicer
Food preparation begins on the butchering table. Butchering is simply making smaller pieces of meat out of one large piece of meat, such as a deer or elk carcass. Of course, the process is more complicated than the last sentence suggests. The butchering table is where the hunter decides which parts of the meat will be steaks, roasts and hamburger.
There will always be scraps after the butchering process, which will become hamburger. There are also parts of the animal which aren’t much good for anything other than ground meat, such as the shank. Yes, there are a few recipes for this meat, but there is so much gristle involved, it is best ground in my world.
As long as a hunter is at the butchering table, why not complete the entire process of making steaks, roasts and hamburger. A grinder had been one of my food prep tools for years. This year an Excalibur Meat Tenderizer and Jerky Slicer was added.
The meat tenderizer is also used to cube steaks. Send the steak through the knives once and it is tenderized. Turn it 90 degrees and send it through a second time and it is a cubed steak.
All of the steaks from my deer this year were made into cube steaks, except the backstraps. Throw a couple cubed steaks in a resealable plastic bag, along with your favorite marinade, place the bag in the refrigerator for a couple of days and you have a delicious and tender steak.
Next week: More Christmas-gift ideas for outdoor-minded people.